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Published: Sunday, 4/10/2005

Use Kest smell test on Noe's state deals

Eight bite-size Lemmon Drops to nibble on while waiting for the Mud Hens' home opener on Friday:

  • If Tom Noe believes politics had nothing to do with the state's decision to invest $50 million with his firm, Capital Coin, then he has reached the "Ray Kest" level of denial.

    As was the case when Mr. Kest tried to justify the taxpayer implications of his association with Cleveland State University (both as a PhD candidate and part-time instructor), this one doesn't pass the smell test.

    Since 1990, Mr. Noe has donated more than $87,000 to Republican candidates for state office. Does he really believe that the state would be doing business with his firm had the $87,000 gone to Democratic candidates?

  • How can you not laugh at the schoolyard-bully tactics of the Lucas County Democratic Party? Sanctioning seven Toledo city councilmen and four Toledo school board members because they favored unendorsed Democrats over endorsed Democrats in appointments to both bodies has all the makings of a Who's on First?-type skit.

    Toledo is a gold mine for political comedy.

  • The former North Towne Square is closed. Southwyck Shopping Center is clinging to life. Westgate Village Shopping Center's vacancy rate is climbing.

    If the Toledo retail scene were like the NCAA basketball tournament, Westfield Shoppingtown Franklin Park would easily emerge from the "shopping center" side of the bracket.

    The "big box" side of the bracket, on the other hand, is much more competitive. At least for now. Wal-Mart -- expected to open a store in Holland, which would be its fourth in the metro area -- is starting to gain momentum and, given its national track record, is worthy of the favorite's role.

  • Thank you, Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, for playing hardball with the Lucas County Board of Elections. If the four board members don't resign, Mr. Blackwell said he will fire them. They should head out the door with their tails between their legs.

  • I'm thinking there's a correlation between the 43 passengers on the bus I took home Wednesday and the price of gas -- a record high, in the low $2.30s for a gallon. (Some TARTA trivia: I've taken the bus to work for nearly four years, and this was the first time venturing into 40-passenger territory.)

  • In cleaning out some old e-mail last week, I came across one from a reader with this observation: "Give Big Oil credit for conditioning us into thinking that gas at $1.57 a gallon is a bargain."

    Ah, $1.57. Those were the days.

  • Some of the dated e-mails survived the massive purge. Among the "keepers" were two by Ron, sent four months apart in 2003.

    The first (from July): "I read your column almost every week, just to see what kind of idiotic comments you make. This week's column has finally prompted me to write."

    The second (from November): "I am a regular reader of your column and, while I do not agree with you all of the time, you usually have thought-provoking opinions."

    Apparently, there's a fine line between "idiotic" and "thought-provoking."

  • Gotta go. If I write anything else, I risk being sanctioned by the Lucas County Democratic Party.

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